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Predictions & Projections
By David M. Dorey
 
The Huddle
DIVISIONAL
January 7, 2004
Playoff Ticket
Saturday
Sunday
4:30 PM, FOX at Edward Jones Dome
1:00 PM, CBS at Arrowhead Stadium
8:15 PM, CBS at Gillette Stadium
4:45 PM, FOX at Lincoln Financial Field
   
Indianapolis at Kansas City  
  Indianapolis Rush Catch Pass
QB Peyton Manning 0 0 290,2
RB Edgerrin James 100,1 10 0
TE Marcus Pollard 0 30 0
WR Brandon Stokely 0 60,1 0
WR Troy Walters 0 20 0
WR Marvin Harrison 0 110,1 0
WR Reggie Wayne 0 40 0
  Kansas City Rush Catch Pass
QB Trent Green 0 0 260,2
RB Priest Holmes 90,2 30 0
TE Tony Gonzalez 0 60,1 0
WR Johnnie Morton 0 50 0
WR Dante Hall 0 50 0
WR Eddie Kennison 0 60,1 0

Game Prediction: IND 27, KC 31

Line: KC by 3

The Colts killed their playoff demons in a monster manner last week when they throttled the Broncos so badly that Manning barely played in the second half. He already had 377 yards and five touchdowns and the challenge was just not there. That win was such a complete turnaround from what they had done only two weeks before that using past numbers for this team is worthless when they turn in that sort of effort.

The Chiefs come into this game well rested and having last slapped the Bears around. The week before that they were ones getting manhandled when they visited the Vikings who decided to play their magical game of the season (too bad they did not keep a little of that for the following week).

These are the two highest scoring offenses in the league which in fantasy terms is a bonanza. Perhaps the best quarterback in the NFL (Manning) on one side and the highest scoring tailback - ever - on the other. Throw in one of the very best wideouts and tight ends into the equation and the scoreboard should replace their bulbs now.

The Colts are a good road team - they only have one loss in Jacksonville against them in a trash game. They won in Tennessee, Miami and had the near legendary comeback in Tampa Bay on one Monday night game. The Chiefs have won all their home games, but several were very close wins.

This game is destined to be a shoot-out because the Chiefs carry an advantage of being at home, having a bye week to rest and yet their defense is consistently in the bottom ten against almost all offensive positions. The Chiefs have the worst rushing defense. Their pass defense is good in comparison to their rushing defense but compared to all other teams is not even average and that is with the fact that most teams concentrate on the run against them. Indianapolis will be able to post points unless they are washed out after last week but they were barely winded in that game anyway.

The Colts defense has allowed 27 or more points six times this season and are now facing the highest scoring offense in the league. The comparisons show that Indianapolis will run successfully and be able to pass well which means potentially great with Manning if he gets hot. The Chiefs will be able to run against the Colts and Trent Green will be able to pass but the odd qualifier here is that while the Colts have been softer against wideouts, the Chiefs typically do not make major use of them with Holmes and Gonzalez always taking their hearty share.

In a game that features two offenses that can sling points with the best of them and two defenses that in most games have not even been average. Either team could score with the run or the pass and each will be trying to cloak gameplans away from their traditional manners of scoring. It should be a fascinating game to watch and see exactly how both teams attack the other but in the end, the Colts are coming off a major stepping stone with an emotional win over Denver. The Chiefs are locked, loaded and waiting.

Team Comparisons - Current team rankings (1-32) for FF points scored or allowed by position
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
IND Scores
13
12
3
6
4
20
KC Allows
22
32
25
22
20
2
IND AP
9
20
22
16
16
-18
Rank (1-32)
QB
RB
WR
TE
PK
DEF
KC Scores
5
3
23
1
13
30
IND Allows
21
14
21
4
10
4
KC AP
16
11
-2
3
-3
-26
Offensive ranks = #1 gains most points, Defensive ranks = #1 allows least points
AP = Advantage Points, the net difference between a positional rank gained or allowed by the teams.
IND
KC
2003 Game Averages
KC
IND
Gains
Allows
QB's
Gains
Allows
262
227
Pass yards
284
185
1.7
1.5
Pass TDs
1.5
1.3
0.2
0.7
Interceptions
0.7
0.8
3
20
Rush yards
4
13
0.0
0.2
Rush TDs
0.2
0.7
---
---
RB's
---
---
107
164
Rush yards
103
104
1.3
1.8
Rush TDs
2.0
0.8
29
38
Receive yards
68
29
0.0
0.3
Receive TD's
0.2
0.2
---
---
WR's
---
---
185
159
Receive yards
150
129
1.5
1.0
Receive TD's
0.2
1.2
---
---
TE's
---
---
48
30
Receive yards
66
28
0.3
0.3
Receive TD's
1.2
0.0
---
---
PK's
---
---
1.8
1.0
Field Goals
1.2
0.8
3.3
3.8
Extra Points
3.5
3.2
---
---
DEF/ST
---
---
1.2
0.3
Fumbles
0.3
0.7
0.7
0.7
Interceptions
0.7
0.2
0.2
0.2
Touchdowns
0.0
0.2
2.0
1.0
Sacks
1.5
1.8
0.0
0.0
Safeties
0.0
0.0
Colts (12-4)
Score Opp.
9-6 @CLE
33-7 TEN
23-13 JAX
55-21 @NO
38-35 @TB
20-23 CAR
Week 7 BYE
30-21 HOU
23-17 @MIA
23-28 @JAX
38-31 NYJ
17-14 @BUF
34-38 NE
29-27 @TEN
38-7 ATL
17-31 DEN
20-17 @HOU
Chiefs (13-3)
Score Opp.
27-14 SD
41-20 PIT
42-14 @HOU
17-10 @BAL
24-23 DEN
40-34 @GB
17-10 @OAK
38-5 BUF
Week 9 BYE
41-20 CLE
19-24 @CIN
27-24 OAK
28-24 @SD
27-45 @DEN
45-17 DET
20-45 @MIN
31-3 CHI

* Fantasy point rankings calculated using standard Huddle fantasy points